Having been raised in Vevay; having been a player for the Switzerland County Pacer basketball team; and having served as a varsity assistant and junior varsity coach for his alma mater for 15 years after returning here to teach; at the end of the 2015-2016 basketball season Mark Boggs felt like it was time to step away and “recharge his batteries”.
A year later and fully charged, Boggs was named on Monday night as the new varsity coach of the Switzerland County girls basketball team by the school board. He replaces Ashley Kitts, who served as the head coach for the past six years.
“I am very excited to have this opportunity,” Boggs said. “I’m honored to be a part of the Lady Pacer family. Coach Kitts did a tremendous job, and now it’s our job to keep moving it forward.”
Boggs is a 1997 graduate of Switzerland County High School, and begin his teaching career here in 2002. He served as the varsity assistant for five years under coach David Todd; and then took over as the junior varsity coach for 10 years under coaches Brian Bowen, B.J. McAlister and current coach Adam Dennis. He stepped down as the jayvee job at the conclusion of last year.
The year off has been a good one for the new man in charge.
“Sitting out a year, I keep calling in ‘recharge my battery’,” Boggs said. “I felt like I needed a break, and this year off kind of helped me solidify the fact that I wanted to get back in. This position opened up and I went for it.”
Boggs was scheduled to meet with his players today (Thursday), and met with the middle school girls yesterday (Wednesday).
“I’m trying to get our whole Lady Pacer family aware of what’s going on at this point,” Boggs said. “I have met with the majority of my coaching staff, I still have a few more to meet with, and then we’ll be starting to work on April and May open gym schedules. I’m excited to work with them as a whole. They’ve done a great job.”
The coach affirmed that as far as he knows at this point in the process, the coaching staff will stay in place.
“I’m excited about working with them,” the new head coach said of his staff. “I feel like the Lady Pacers have had a winning culture there, and my goal is to continue building on what has already been established.”
As players graduate from year to year, small schools like Switzerland County are always in the process of ‘reloading’ and making sure that players coming up into the high school program are taught the skills needed to compete at the varsity level; and Boggs laughs when he says that he really can’t say what his ‘style of play’ is going to be, because it’s going to change year to year based on personnel.
“I was fortunate to be able to watch many Lady Pacer games this year, and I liked what I saw out there with our kids who are returning,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to working with them to improve their game.”
A varsity coach today does much more than just coach his or her team; now being responsible to setting up the entire program, from the varsity level down through junior high teams and below that with clinics and other programs.
“I’m really excited about our young kids, to go along with the players that we currently have at the high school level,” Coach Boggs said. “I want to just continue building that program that Ashley and her staff did so well.”